Doctor denies Michael Jackson manslaughter charge

Dr Conrad Murray, a cardiologist who was with the King of Pop when he died, has appeared in court in the US charged over the star's death

Michael Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray, 56, a Houston cardiologist who was with Jackson when he died, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter when he appeared at Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday.

Prosecutors said Dr Conrad Murray ‘did unlawfully and without malice kill Michael Joseph Jackson’. He could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

Murray appeared in court in a grey suit as Jackson’s father Joe, mother Katherine, and siblings LaToya, Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Randy sat behind prosecutors.

Jackson hired Dr Murray to be his personal physician as he prepared for his strenuous comeback concerts in London. Officials said the singer died in Los Angeles on June 25 after Dr Murray allegedly administered the powerful general anaesthetic propofol and two other sedatives to get the chronic insomniac to sleep.

Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz set bail at 75,000 US dollars (£47,900) – three times more than the amount people normally face after being charged with involuntary manslaughter. Dr Murray posted it about two hours later and was released.

His lawyer said outside court that Dr Murray plans to return to practising medicine in Nevada and Texas while he awaits trial. The judge ordered him to return to court on April 5 for a preliminary hearing.

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